ecollar - 6 mo. too soon? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2010, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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ecollar - 6 mo. too soon?

Is 6 months too young for an ecollar? When is an ecollar a good choice? I'm hoping to curtail my dog's lunging after cars, joggers, and bikers that speed by. I would also like to take her outside, off the tie-out and give her freedom without fear of her chasing a squirrel into the street and getting hit by a car.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

Hailey, GSD 5/22/10-
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2010, 10:10 PM
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Have you attended dog classes and worked up to off leash with distractions in that environment? Cause you may not have to use the e-collar at all after classes.

I use and love the e-collar but only AFTER I've tried the normal progression of training and classes during my pups first year. If I can just teach well using classes and more traditional methods (with the instructor and class environment to assure I am teaching well) that's my first choice.




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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2010, 10:44 PM
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E-collars should be a last resort tool with the kind of issues your talking about. Obedience classes if you can afford them surely will address recall and help you learn how to curtail her barking and lunging. If not look into clicker training and stock up on treats and a long lead. Start by putting your pup on a long leash and throwing a toy so she has to run off to get it. When she runs off and gets the toy say come and when she does click and treat. Start this indoors so there are no distractions because she'll be more apt to comply Then start adding distractions still keeping her on lead and fully under your control. Once she is responding to come right away take her off leash still indoors and continue moving outdoors in a fenced area after a week or so. Eventually if you continue this everyday and commit to 3-5 short training sessions each day within a month her recall should be pretty good. There are a ton of videos on this subject here if you search for them so you can see what I talking about.

The barking, lunging, and chasing is going to take more time though a solid recall is the first step. She needs to be desensitized to the things she is going after. I use the WATCH command for this. Again start inside with clicker and treats. Take the treat and move it from her nose to your face. The minute she looks at you ie the treat in front of your face say WATCH, click, and treat. Continue to do this daily indoors with no distractions adding in more distractions each week until you are again outside with her leashed. When you think she understands what watch means start saying watch and making her look without putting the food to her nose, and finally only treating after every third time she watches on command.

The last step is using the watch command when you spot a trigger coming your way. Instead of avoiding other dogs, bikes, and squirrels say watch when one is approaching and click and treat until the trigger is out of sight. It takes a good deal of time, but is going to be a lot more effective than an e-collar in the long run
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieRoseLee View Post
Have you attended dog classes and worked up to off leash with distractions in that environment? Cause you may not have to use the e-collar at all after classes.
I've had her in obedience class for over 2 months, and she is very good with most commands, including recall. But NOTHING breaks her focus from the cars. I've used the WATCH command, but she can't stay focused on me for more than a second, that's assuming I can get her to break her focus from the car at all. She can get so focused on the car, that even putting food right against her mouth won't cause her to break focus.

The best I've be able to accomplish is getting her to sit when a car is coming, and I feed her with treats, trying to keep her focus on me. This works sometimes, and often I can get her to sit without lunging even if I don't have any more treats on me. There is still maybe 30% of the time that she's lunging when this method is in use.

My recall with her at the dogpark is good, unless she's very focused on other dogs. She's been going after the back of the neck of one small dog, and I've been telling her 'no' and pulling her away, when I can get hold of her. She's getting a little better at that.

Hailey, GSD 5/22/10-
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zoeys mom View Post
The barking, lunging, and chasing is going to take more time though a solid recall is the first step. She needs to be desensitized to the things she is going after.
I walk everyday along roads where there are a lot of cars, so I would have thought she'd be desensitized by now. I forgot to mention that she didn't start off lunging at cars. This developed after a month of so since I got her at 3 months age. While I can usually hear a car coming and get her to sit and wait until it passes, there is no way to anticipate when a squirrel will dart out. There are a lot of squirrels in my area.

Hailey, GSD 5/22/10-
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 07:42 PM
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I replied to your other thread on the same subject:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...sd-needed.html
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks... I found the other area of the forum after I started this thread and thought it might be a better place for more people who use ecollars to find and give me their feedback.

Hailey, GSD 5/22/10-
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 07:55 PM
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Six months is the minimum age that almost all manufacturers and trainers recommend as being OK for the Ecollar. An Ecollar is a good choice anytime other methods fail to give satisfactory results in a timely manner. Only you can decide what the terms "satisfactory" and "timely" mean.

I suggest you take a look at my website CLICK HERE where there are articles that many have used to learn to use an Ecollar. Some people think of the Ecollar as a "tool of last resort." Just about universally they know little of the tool or how to use it with modern methods.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 08:52 PM
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I think you might start using a prong/slip collar with a jerk and firm, "NO!" first, then maybe progress. The behavior has to be corrected soon for both of your safety.

Mine was chasing/herding cows where I guide flyfishers and that was not an option. I used an ecollar and in short order, and now two years later, she still ignores them. It works; and I started just after she was six months.
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